How do you know if you can trust the towing company you contacted? Our expert fills you in.
1. Finding the name of an emergency towing company can be a challenge, especially if the list of suggestions is long. How do you make the right choice?
Obviously, you never really know who you’re dealing with when you search the Internet or the phone book. Your best options are:
- A referral from a friend or a trusted mechanic
- Being a member of a roadside assistance program
- A tow truck requested by the police or the Department of Transportation, at the scene of an accident or breakdown on the highway
2. How do you know if the company is reputable, professional and trustworthy?
By calling roadside assistance, you’re guaranteed not only a follow-up, but that the driver’s training and equipment meets their highest standards.
3. From the time you place the call to the towing company, how long should it take for help to arrive?
Tow truck response times depend on the location of the accident or where the breakdown occurred. If the car is on the highway, a decent response time would be about 20 minutes. If the vehicle is located in a safe area (and you’re not in immediate danger), and if the car is not obstructing traffic, the wait time can be longer, approximately 30 to 45 minutes. In very bad weather, a snowstorm, or extremely cold temperatures, it can be even longer.
4. Fees can differ from one company to another and depending on the type of vehicle. How do you know that you’re not being ripped off?
The best way to make sure that you don’t get taken advantage of is to ask the price before requesting a tow truck. Also, always get an invoice after a towing or recovery service. Even if you’re a member of a roadside assistance program and are not responsible for the out-of-pocket expenses, ask for an invoice just the same. All reputable companies will accept payment by credit card, so if a company demands cash only, that’s probably a bad sign.
5. Do tow truck drivers always offer to give you a ride?
Generally, if the customer asks for a ride and it’s on the truck driver’s way, there shouldn’t be problem and they will be happy to oblige. If you have to go further, it will depend on how busy the driver is at the time. If time does not permit, call a taxi at your own expense to take you to your destination.
Moving forward, will you know who to contact if you need your car towed?